After a conversation with my five year old where he asked me who I danced with, I realised that I’m really quite rubbish at finding out names of dancers. It’s strange though, because outside my dancing bubble, I’m not usually bad with names
Embarrassingly a lot of our local dancers from the old days know my name – some because I used to join everyone in the pub for a drink after dancing, some from dance weekenders, but mostly because of my previous taxi dancer role. Obviously the pub and weekender friends I know their names because you spend downtime outside of the dance floor. But as a taxi dancer, you’re introduced to everyone in the room, but there’s only a select few you ever get to know their names.
I love it when I’m at a class and some of the guys introduce themselves. I always thought I was quite good at names and faces, but in a class I don’t always remember. I went through a phase of saying hi and introducing myself but often there’s not the time.
On the dance floor very few people introduce themselves. And those who do, I’m so sorry, but if it’s while we’re dancing I’m unlikely to be able to hear clearly what you say. I liken the dance floor to a squash court where you just hear the echo and the whack of the ball. Ok, it’s nothing like a squash court, but in both situations I seem to have closed off hearing when people talk at a normal volume.
What’s embarrassing for me, is that I’ve been dancing with lots of these people for years, we have a chat, but I still have no idea of names. One guy even chats to me about the village I live in because he knows it, but I still don’t know his name. For most of these people, I try and find out their names from friends, but it seems I’m not the only one who mostly dances anonymous.
Thinking about it, social dancing must be one of the only activities where you don’t get the chance on arrival to introduce yourselves. In a big room and class it’s impossible. And on the dance floor, you’ve only got dance on your mind. It really is possible to be totally anonymous while dancing if you want to and don’t do the socialising outside of social dances.
Not knowing the people you’re dancing with is an oxymoron really given we do social dancing.
So apologies to the guys (and ladies when I’m leading) I dance with if I don’t know your name. When I dance with new people I’ll try and remember to ask your name.
And thanks to the men who’ve asked me my name and told me yours. I think I’ve mostly remembered them. If you tell me while we’re dancing and I just nod away inanely, please do remind me again another time just in case I didn’t quite hear and was too embarrassed to ask.
Are you good with names? Do you make an effort to ask people’s names? Does it matter?